5 big deals for downtown St. Petersburg in 2014
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12 / 22 / 14

Here are five big deals for downtown St. Pete in 2014:

Downtown St. Petersburg is on a roll.

Already known for its vibrant urban waterfront and thriving cultural scene, downtown St. Pete saw some landmark deals in 2014 — all of which play off of each other to create a live-work-play neighborhood.

Here are five big deals for downtown St. Pete in 2014:

Sundial: The opening of the redeveloped retail center in the heart of downtown is huge. St. Petersburg business mogul Bill Edwards spent $40 million transforming the run-down BayWalk complex into Sundial. Sundial has a mix of national retailers, boutique shops, a movie theater and Locale Market, " an upscale, chef-driven eatery." In other words, a destination with something for almost everyone, which will bring even more people to downtown St. Pete and boost the entire neighborhood.

The iQor headquarters deal: iQor U.S. Inc, which had acquired Jabil's aftermarket services business, signed a lease for 37,340 square feet in the Tower at One Progress Plaza at 200 Central Ave. This will bring more well-paid employees to the urban core to support the restaurants and retail and potentially drive demand for more.

New life for old office buildings: Convergent Capital Partners acquired the Universal Health Care building, and Tampa investor Larry Feldman and his partners acquired the First Central Tower. Both groups are planning to invest in the buildings and bring new deals in 2015 — again, creating more foot traffic to drive more demand for restaurants and retail. Convergent Capital CEO Santosh Govindaraju told me recently that he's working on a deal that could bring 600 employees to the UHC building.

The Pier: After the 2013 rejection of the Lens concept, St. Petersburg's embattled Pier took another step toward becoming a revitalized community gathering place and icon for the city, with eight design teams submitting proposals for the site.

Residential boom marches on: St. Petersburg's downtown residential boom shows no signs of stopping, with several buildings coming to fruition in 2014 and several more were announced, including Kolter Group's 41-story condo tower and the Salvador. The burgeoning urban population is also driving demand for office space, investors and developers say.

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